Lesson 26: King Solomon: Man of Wisdom, Man of Foolishness

Old Testament Class Member Study Guide, (2001), 18


Study the following scriptures:

  1. a.

    1 Kings 3:5–28. Solomon succeeds his father, David, as king, and follows the Lord. The Lord appears to Solomon and blesses him with wisdom, riches, and honor (3:5–15). Two women take a child to Solomon, who wisely determines which woman is the mother of the child (3:16–28).

  2. b.

    1 Kings 5–6; 7:1–12. King Solomon directs the construction of a great temple (5–6). He has a palace built for himself (7:1–12).

  3. c.

    1 Kings 8:22–66; 9:1–9. Solomon dedicates the temple and asks the Lord to bless the Israelites with spiritual and temporal prosperity (8:22–66). The Lord again appears to Solomon, promising to bless the Israelites if they serve him but to curse them if they turn to other gods (9:1–9).

  4. d.

    1 Kings 10–11. Solomon’s fame grows because of his wealth and wisdom (10:1–13, 24–25). He becomes excessively wealthy (10:14–23, 26). He marries many non-Israelite women who persuade him to worship false gods (11:1–10). The Lord stirs up adversaries against Solomon (11:11–25). A prophet foretells that the kingdom of Israel will be divided because of Solomon’s wickedness (11:26–40).

  • What does it mean to have an “understanding heart”? (See 1 Kings 3:28; 4:29.) Why did Solomon feel a special need for that blessing? (See 1 Kings 3:7–8.) How would having “the wisdom of God” help us with our responsibilities at home, at work, at school, and in the Church? How can we receive this wisdom?

  • What promise did the Lord give Solomon regarding the temple? (See 1 Kings 6:11–13.) What similar promise has the Lord given us today? (See D&C 97:15–17.) What can we do to keep the influence of the temple strong in our lives?

  • How did Solomon’s riches and honor increase after the temple was built? (See 1 Kings 10:1–15, 24–25.) How did Solomon misuse these blessings? (See 1 Kings 10:16–23, 26–29.) How should wisdom, riches, and honor be used? (See Jacob 2:18–19.)

Additional reading: 1 Kings 2:1–12; 4:29–34; 7:13–51; 1 Chronicles 29; Doctrine and Covenants 46.